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Intellectual Superpowers could give you especially powerful abilities to analyze, communicate, present, and decide
Here is a list of the superpowers that will be discussed.
1. Quantify value
2. Decompose solutions
3. Quantify and measure the quality of technical specs
4. Estimate solution attributes 5. Identify good solutions
6. Learn numerically what works
7. Prioritise fact-based solutions and requirements dynamically.
8. Quantify risks
9. Understand stakeholders
10. Communicate clearly
These superpowers are described in detail in Tom Gilb’s books and writings [1,2,3].
This is an introduction intended to stimulate further study to master the powers.
Here is one view of what a superpower is:
First, these are the cultural aspects of the superpowers:
• most people have not learned them yet
• most people do not do them intuitively
• many people will deny that it is possible to do them
• other people will argue they are too difficult to do
• most university teachings totally ignore these methods
• most books, talks, and papers do not teach these methods In other words,
these are rare: possibly less than 1 out of 100 people can do them.
If you can do them you could be in the upper 1% of capability in this area, at least.
Here are the teaching and learning aspects of these superpowers:
• they are relatively quick to learn, within an hour or day each
• almost anybody in the professional area can learn to do them
• whole organizations can make them part of their culture
• they can be added one-by-one to the capabilities of any individual (yes, YOU)
• they can be added to any larger methods or processes, one by one
• it is easy to teach and coach them,
• they can be taught 'on the fly', as you work and discuss or plan.
• the methods are described in detail in cheap, or free, sources [1, 2, 3]
Here are the possible expected results of using these superpowers:
• order-of-magnitude improvements in saving time and money
• scale free: the methods work at any scale of problem or project
• lean: the powers help deal with problems upstream, early and to prevent problems.
• agile: the superpower methods work in agile value delivery cycles, and support them.
1. Value Planning (2017): leanpub.com/ValuePlanning, or Link to book: https://www.gilb.com/store/2W2zCX6z,
Coupon Code: 'FIRE', gives €9 discount on €10 price = €1
2. Competitive Engineering (2005): Get a free e-copy of ‘Competitive Engineering’ book. https://www.gilb.com/p/competitive-engineering
3. gilb.com downloads website, http://concepts.gilb.com/file24
Tom is the author of ten published books, and hundreds of papers on IT and related subjects. His 2005 book ‘Competitive Engineering’ (CE) is a detailed handbook The CE book defines an Agile Planning Language, called 'Planguage' for Quality Value Delivery Management.
His new (digital only) book ‘Value Planning’ 2016 is available digitally (, and (discount for participants).
Tom has guest lectured at universities all over UK, Europe, China, India, USA, Korea - and has been a keynote speaker at dozens of technical conferences internationally.
He did a TEDx talk in Trondheim in 2013. and is an Honorary Fellow of the BCS.
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